Been There/ Done That

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My thesis plan

Today, to get our hands dirty, but not too much, I will explain very briefly what my thesis is about.

Ok, so there is a metaphysical claim, called 'physicalism' that says that everything is physical. Simple enough? Not quite: it's quite hard to formulate precisely. But putting that aside.There are many philosophers that deny physicalism. One important source of problems for physicalism are the so-called conceivability arguments (against physicalism). So in my thesis I examine these arguments and argue they do not work, that is, they don't succeed in refuting physicalism. So this is my modest contribution to the defense of physicalism...

The thesis is in 6 chapters, as follows:

(O. Introduction (Why not?))
1. Conceivability arguments (where I explain what these are).
2. Strategies against conceivability arguments (where I introduce the two main strategies: exceptionalism and non-exceptionalism, and I also propose a new classification of conceivability arguments).
3. The non-exceptionalist strategy against conceivability arguments (where I defend this strategy from Chalmers and Jackson's attacks).
4. The exceptionalist strategy I (where I explain the different versions and argue for my favourite one).
5. The exceptionalist strategy II (where I defend the exceptionalist strategy from Chalmers' objections).
6. The exceptionalist Strategy III (where I defend this strategy from Stoljar's objections).
7. Conclusion (where I recapitulate and suggest that the best way to block the conceivability arguments is by means of a mixed strategy, with aspects of both. So we can all be happy).

Well, maybe it does not sound very exciting like this... but I will try to flesh that out a bit more soon!


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